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Topic subjectI've had his Mirrors of the Soul for several years
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=30043&mesg_id=30095
30095, I've had his Mirrors of the Soul for several years
Posted by Nettrice, Mon Apr-25-05 04:43 PM
My mother has a degree in philosophy and she let me have a pocket-sized edition of this book when I was a teenager. I've had it ever since and still read it from time to time. Here's one of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Life is an island, rocks are its desires, trees its dreams, flowers its loneliness, and it is in the middle of an ocean of solitude and seclusion. Your life is an island separated from all other islands and continents. Regardless of how many boats you send to other shores or how many ships arrive upon your shores, you yourself are an island separated by its own pains, secluded in its happiness and far away in its compassion and hidden in its secrets and miseries.---Your inner soul is surrounded with solitude and seclusion. Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion you would not be you and I would not be I. If it were not for that solitude and seclusion, I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking; yet, if I saw your face, I would imagine that I were looking into a mirror."

Despite the fact that we are all "islands" we do have plenty of opportunities to visit others. We should be able to relate, to empathize with the happiness and suffering of others.

When I was 12, I spent a month in a hospital because I was severely depressed. I was there with a bunch of kids, ages 4-14. Each one of those kids had their own issues and challenges to overcome. It was amazing to me because childhood is something we all share but we had lost some part of that and we were suffering. We were there 24-7, under lock and key. I spent many of those hours listening to the other kids. One of the things I was supposed to work on (for myself) was being more social and proactive about my physical appearance. I panicked when the group prepared to go to the gym. I cried on my bed and refused to go. Minutes later someone came and got me. All of the kids were still there waiting for me. They refused to go unless I came. I was shocked and found the courage to go with them. These kids were willing to give up a chance to get out for recreation for me. I never forgot that gesture.

After a month, I left the hospital as a patient but a year or so later I returned as a volunteer and worked there until I graduated from high school. Why? The experience I had as a patient there had changed my life for the better and I wanted to give something back. I was no longer lost on my island and I realized I could be both introverted and extroverted. I could be both practical and compassionate.